The Laughing Buddha

Budai(in Chinese) is often depicted as having the appearance of an amply proportioned bald man wearing a robe and wearing or otherwise carrying prayer beads. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content.

His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment. His image graces many temples, restaurants, amulets, and businesses. I am sure many Indian homes also possess it for the same reason 🙂

Amongst Westerners new to Buddhism, Budai is often confused with the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. However, the two are visually very distinct. Gautama is commonly depicted as being tall and slender in appearance (although since no images of him from his lifetime exist, this depiction of him is unverifiable and possibly idealized); Budai is short and overweight. (Buddha means “one who has achieved a state of perfect enlightenment” and there are several people who have been given the title.)#Source

Tunnel of gold!

Searching my archives, i found this gem. Minneapolis has a well established light rail transit system and this is one of the stations at the MSP international airport. The tunnel walls are not actually gold as the title suggests (duh! :P) but its the result of a 5 exposure HDR created from a single file. HDRs work best when you want to emphasize colors and textures in a scene.

Lake Superior

A shot from my recent trip to the scenic Apostle islands, WI. Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world and here you can see it in the background. In fact its so huge, you might as well call it an ocean and a new visitor wont even know the difference. I am sure even this small shrub is not aware of the ‘vastness’ behind it.

Some more from this place in my future posts.